Baltimore Ravens (9-5 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (7-7 SU, 8-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date and Time: Sunday, December 21, 1:00pm EST
Where: NRG Stadium - Houston, Texas
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BAL -6.5/HOU +6.5
Over/Under Total: 41
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This Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens will travel to Houston to take on the Texans. The Ravens come into this game at 9-5 overall, while the Texans are .500 at 7-7. Both teams have improved since last season, but the Ravens appear to primed to make some noise in the AFC playoffs. Road games in the NFL are always tough, so this may not be as cut and dry as most would think.
The line for this game opens at 6.5 points in favor of the Ravens, and the total points are set at 41 combined. 69% of the action at this time has been put on the Ravens to cover the spread and it is also evident that most people believe this game will stay under the total points as well.
The Houston Texans have a mess on their hands. All three quarterbacks are injured and I think there is a chance that they may call me to come start for them. Okay, that was a joke, but it is bad in Houston at the QB spot. The Texans have narrowed the choice down to Case Keenum and Thad Lewis as for who will start this week. Not only though will the quarterback need to fill in and contribute, the defense will need to hold their own as well. Ranked just 27th against the pass, the Texans will need to keep Joe Flacco and the Ravens wide outs in check. If they allow the Ravens offense to get rolling, it will be tough for a new quarterback to keep pace. Houston’s best chance for a win or cover here is to keep this game low scoring. And by low scoring, I mean in the teens. If Baltimore gets to 21-24, it is over.
The Baltimore Ravens have won four of their last five games, and have found themselves at 9-5 overall and 2nd in the AFC North division. If the season ended today, the Ravens would be the 6th seed and the final team to qualify for the AFC playoffs. Baltimore should certainly be the favorite in the game which they are, but nothing is a given. The Houston defense knows that they will have to keep their offense in this one, so I expect them come out and play hard. The Ravens have the 5th best rushing offense in the NFL led by Justin Forsette, who already had 1,100 yards rushing on the season. The passing attack, led by Joe Flacco is ranked in the top 15 in the league as well. Baltimore’s best chance to get this win and cover is to come out fast on offense. If they can get up by two scores and force Houston to pass the ball, I could see them making plays against the 4th string QB and putting this game away early.
It may seem like the square pick, but I am going with it. I think Baltimore is finally heating up and I see them going into Houston and easily getting their 10th win of the season. I see a 24-13 type victory for the Ravens.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE BALTIMORE RAVENS -6.5